Money Mistake Monday – Not Asking For A Raise.

My last “real” job lasted just over 4 years – and it was long enough. I had been working in television since the day I arrived in Los Angeles and the time had come for me to try something else out, so that is one of the reasons I left that cushy job. But that was not a money mistake – that was one of the most positive decisions I had ever made in my life. However, the money mistake I wanted to talk about today was the fact that I never asked for the money that I knew I was worth because, well, I figured I was making enough so why make waves?

Big mistake. I was worth more…and I should have known it.

I don’t really care about money, to be perfectly honest. I like having it, and I like doing what I want to make it, but I am not one of those people who judge their personal worth by their net worth. It’s just money and my wife and I just want to be comfortable; we have no need to be wealthy. But if I am going to be paid for working, I should be getting market rate – and I wasn’t getting it. I only really found out close to when I was leaving and after hearing some friends in the same industry I was in and in the same job I was in, talk about how much money and bonuses they were raking in. I was missing out on tens of thousands of dollars compared to my peers, all because I did not want to make waves. Would I have gotten the same amount of money? Who knows…I quit my job without ever asking. But I bet I could have made a substantial amount more than I was making, just by asking.

So this is where you come in – if you are feeling under-appreciated and you know the going rate for your job in your industry, make sure you are getting what you should be getting. Do not let a boss or a manager keep you from earning what you should be making, just because you are afraid (or unwilling) to ask them for more money. Unless you own the business you work for, it should not matter to you how they come up with the money to pay you – for every minute of work you put in for someone else, make sure you are getting what you are due. And if you aren’t and you can’t at your present job, start interviewing for new ones…In fact, there are places that will pay you to do interviews! Also, you might want to think about getting by on irregular income for a while if necessary. Any way you do it, start working towards what you are worth and do not settle for less – you don’t have to and no one can make you!

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Comments (4)

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  1. Patrick says:

    Great point. I think my skill-set is worth more than I am currently earning. That is one of the key traits about my company – they tend to pay people less than what they are worth in the market. But to be honest, the reason I am interviewing for a new position has less to do with money, and more to do with job satisfaction.

  2. I’m with Patrick. I make a very healthy salary but I have 20 years experience in the industry and an MBA. I’m also looking but it’s because of a quality of life issue.

    The company I currently work for has a policy AGAINST asking for a raise. Those who ask have been shown the door in the past. Upper management gets one raise per year and you better be satisfied with it. There are plenty of underlings salivating in the hallway….

  3. david says:

    “Those who ask have been shown the door in the past. Upper management gets one raise per year and you better be satisfied with it.”

    That is just sad – it’s unfortunate that companies exist that do not put their employees first – without them, they would not be there. Never again will I work for a company that doesn’t appreciate me or everyone that works there – it’s not worth it.

  4. Jesse says:

    I completely agree – every substantial raise I have received in my life has been because I asked for it. It has never been “volunteered”